Saturday, January 19, 2013

I Am Wolverine

B was the first one to get sick.

On Saturday, January 5th, just after her first two days at daycare, B woke up with a low-grade fever. She was laying down on the couch and not being her usual monkey self. The Hub and I decided to cancel our plans to work in the yard and make it a "lounge around the house" day. Suddenly, she started coughing really hard and then vomited all over herself, the couch, and the carpet. Oh hell... Here we go with the daycare germ sharing. For the next few hours, we battled her fever and she slept. By 5 P.M., B was jumping around and energetic as ever. We thought we had dodged a bullet. Little did we know that was just a preview of the horrors yet to come.

It started on Wednesday, the 9th. I was sitting at my desk at work and I felt a tickle in my throat. Then I started coughing. I thought it was from the dry and dusty office air. Thursday, I felt a little more tired than usual. I just couldn't get going. Getting up at 5 A.M. was taking its toll on me, but again, I shrugged my shoulders and had some more coffee. Driving home that afternoon, I got the chills. That evening, I didn't feel like eating dinner and all I wanted to do was go to bed.

Eight days into my new job and I came down with the flu.

Friday morning, I had a pretty high fever and felt awful. B woke up with another fever, too. I emailed my co-workers to tell them that I was staying home that day, wrapped myself up with several blankets, curled up on the couch, and watched cartoons with B. The Hub attended S's awards day ceremony and then worked from home that afternoon. Just like the Saturday before, B felt fine by 5 P.M. I was not so lucky. My fever spiked and I couldn't move. I was coughing and congested. The Hub practically carried me to bed that night and there I stayed for the next 48 hours.

I'm not too clear on the sequence of events during that time. At one point, I woke up convinced some mad scientist filled my bones with Adamantium.

Me: My bones are filled with hot metal.
The Hub: Oh yeah?
Me: I am Wolverine.
The Hub: Do I need to take you to the hospital?

I swear to God, they turned me into Wolverine.
I'll prove it once I figure out how to get my claws to poke through my knuckles... 

Photo credit: 

I woke up another time, walked into the hall and yelled, "It's 95 degrees in here! Who's fucking with the thermostat?!" I pushed a bunch of buttons on the thermostat and went back to bed. The Hub walked over to the thermostat after I left. It was 72 degrees and I didn't change a thing.

It had been such a long time since I'd felt that sick. It was the kind of sick when you wish you were a little kid again and your mom could take care of you. My body ached and I cried a few times when it felt that I would never be well again. The Hub would bring little plastic cups of NyQuil and Tylenol. He would fill my water glass and rub my back and legs when I swore someone snuck into the house and laid heavy cement blocks on my body. He corralled the kids to the living room and not once did I hear, "Mommy? I need _______!" He even did housework. I didn't have to worry about anything other than my hot metal bones. I fell in love with him all over again that weekend. 

My fever finally broke Sunday night. I was dripping with sweat and thirsty as hell. I couldn't get enough water. It was the first time that I was able to sit upright since Thursday night. It was also the first time I wanted to eat. I warmed up some chicken and noodle soup, took a few bites, and proceeded to vomit. I could not keep any solid food down. But, my fever was gone and I was grateful that I wasn't hallucinating anymore.

From Monday until Wednesday, I would get up each morning, take a shower and get dressed for work. I never made it out the door. I tried. I really tried. But, I still was unable to keep anything down and I was incredibly weak. S woke up with a fever on Monday, but like her little sister, she was fine a few hours later. I believe one of the hardest parts of parenting is trying to take care of a sick child when you, yourself are sick. I guess The Hub felt left out, because he started to feel sick Tuesday afternoon. He stopped by a Minute Clinic and tested positive with the flu, but the doctor prescribed Tamiflu and he was fine the next day.

I lost 10 lbs over the course of eight days. One would think I would be stoked that I finally lost my baby weight from my pregnancy with B... ahem, three and a half years ago... but I looked sickly and I was weak. My first meal was cucumber slices, soda crackers, and ginger ale. My second meal was three chicken nuggets and edamame. So far, I've put 2 lbs back on and I'm sure by next week, I'll be back to my normal weight. Sigh.

By Thursday morning, I was determined to go to work. I was no longer contagious and I was finally able to keep food down. My co-workers were extremely compassionate and even helped me with the work I missed the four days I was out. I was able to go back to normal life slowly. No one expected me to be at 100%. It was lovely. I was able to catch up on everything and finish out the work week.

I attacked the house with Lysol, bought everyone new tooth brushes, and washed all the bed sheets and pillow cases. I restocked the medicine cabinet with multi-vitamins and I am pushing frequent hand washing like a drill sergeant. I battled the mutant virus and came out alive. I am Wolverine.

Still waiting on those damn metal claws...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Mommy is Going Back to Work

It is day one of 2013. Happy New Year! I've already broken two resolutions. I'm not worried. I have a whole year to get back on track. To be honest, I'm not focused on my laundry list of resolutions. I'm not even focused on my laundry. After three and a half years of being a stay at home mom, I go back to work tomorrow. I feel like a teenager getting ready for a new year of high school. Each year, I'd spend the last day of summer, contemplating my game plan for the new year: Will I be funny? Will I be quiet and devote myself to homework? Will I reach out to make new friends or let others come to me? Each year I'd decide on my persona and by the first hour of class, I'd fall right back into my slightly funny, kind of shy, awkward girl persona who floated between different cliques and did really well in honors Language Arts and failed miserably in Geometry. I was right in the middle. Now that I've lived another lifetime since high school, I've figured out who I am. I'm a slightly funny, kind of shy, awkward girl, with a dash of smartass that comes with age. I'm looking forward to my job which will not involve geometry proofs and hopefully, a lot of words.

I wanted to be like Angela Chase from My So Called Life.
I wasn't good at leaning.

On the eve of the first day of my new job, I've already laid out my first day of work outfit, packed my first day of work lunch, set aside my favorite mug for the first day of work coffee, and cleaned out my car for the first day of work commute. I am so ready for this.

No, I'm not.

Even though I spent the last year looking for outside employment, I've really enjoyed being at home. It's been my job for three and a half years. I started off as a working mom when S was born and I did fairly well with the balancing act, but I've fallen in love with the home mom job. The original plan was for me to stay with B from birth until she started Pre-K in August this year. Once both kids were in school full time, I could go back to work. The Hub and I put ourselves on a ridiculously tight budget and hunkered down. Over the past three and a half years, The Hub changed jobs twice, we had to replace a hot water tank and both toilets, we brought on two pets, and survived numerous other money pit situations. We went without family vacations and fancy electronic equipment. I became a coupon clipper and I've grown quite fond of generic brand coffee. The Hub and I rarely went out. But, after all this time, the struggle and hoping that nothing else would fall apart before my stay at home time was up, I truly enjoyed the experience. I found myself. I discovered some hidden talents. I tell some amazing bedtime stories. I have a flair for organizing. I learned how to cook. I found that I can go for the long haul on half a tank. I started writing again. I started this blog. I learned to be comfortable in my own skin without wearing make-up. I could actually go three days without a shower. I am good at making due with what I have.

Over the last year, we realized that B needed to be around other kids and we were tired of living on the lean. Not to mention, the kids are both going through growth spurts. They're eating us out of house and home and out growing their clothes faster than our budget allows. Besides, I'd really like to take a real vacation and actually make my home look like my "Design Inspiration" board on Pinterest. That all takes money. I am grateful that this new job fell into my lap. I know I'm extremely lucky for this opportunity. But, still... I am nervous about the change. And a little sad.

Since I've played both roles, I feel that I know both sides to the story... the pros and cons, so to speak. Obviously, a big pro is the extra paycheck. Since I'm not in high school anymore, I need a new thing to contemplate the night before the first day. Here is a list of pros and cons of going back to work.


  • While at work, I will be called by my real name. I am not required to answer to mommy, mom, mama, or ma.
  • My co-workers are responsible for their own lunches, tying their own shoes, and putting on their own coats.
  • I will not have to wipe another person's butt or nose for eight hours a day, five days a week. 
  • No one will bang on the door and cry while I'm in the bathroom.
  • I can listen to my music while in the car twice a day.
  • No cartoons.
  • I can say T.G.I.F. again and mean it.
  • I can carry on an adult conversation without having to stop to let the dog out or yell at a kid for writing on the walls.  
  • B will be in daycare. (Insert evil laugh here)
  • I won't have to share my computer so someone else can play Nick Jr. games.
  • I'm not the boss.


  • No farting, belching, or scratching while at work.
  • Yoga pants and pajamas are not appropriate work attire.
  • Hiding in the closet to eat a chocolate bar is frowned upon... maybe that should go into the pro column.
  • I'll have to put on a bra before 7:00 A.M. and keep it on until after 4 P.M.
  • No naps.
  • A swish of coffee is no longer an acceptable form of mouthwash.
  • No eating the leftovers off of co-workers' plates.
  • A scoop of peanut butter on a spoon, a handful of goldfish crackers, and a juice box is not a professional grown up lunch.
  • No surfing the web for funny pictures of cats.
  • I cannot end an inter-office disagreement with "because I said so, that's why!"
  • If a co-worker makes me mad, I cannot send him or her to timeout.
  • I won't do the "Yay! The kids go back to school tomorrow!" dance on Sunday nights. It will now be the "Awwww, I have to go back to work tomorrow" sulk.
  • I'll have to leave the house on rainy days, extra cold days, and bloated days.
  • I'll miss the little buggers.
  • I'm not the boss.

It's going to be fine. I'll be fine. Who knows? Maybe I'll really love my new job. I really liked everyone I met while interviewing. I already know I'll be good at my job and I'll be able to do some really fun and interesting things. It's close to home and they let me pick my own hours so I don't have to send S to before/after school daycare. It's okay with my employeer that I'm a mom first. I've found that if a company recognizes that, it's a damn good company and you need to make sure you work hard and keep that job. Even with the cons, this opprotunity is better than I could have ever imagined. It's going to be a good year. I can't wait to tell you all about my first day and all the adventures to come.

(Deep breath.)